Apple data center

New Solar panels for Apple data center in North Carolina

Apple is planning on significantly boosting the number of solar panels being used to power apple data center in North Carolina. According to a local news report, Apple is planning on building another 100-acre, 17.5 MW solar panel farm in the nearby city of Claremont, North Carolina. An Apple representative confirmed that the report is accurate.

Apple already has two solar panel farms in the region that power the data center and together these farms produce 40 MW of solar power, and each stretch across about 100 acres. The first solar panel system is located across the street from the data center, and the second one is about a 15-minute drive from the data center nestled behind a neighborhood in Conover, North Carolina.

Apple data center

The Cupertino, Calif., company said Monday it plans to build a solar farm in Nevada’s Washoe County that can generate up to 20 megawatts of power, in partnership with NV Energy , the local utility that is in the process of being bought by MidAmerican Energy Holdings, a unit of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway BRKB +0.14%. SunPower, a solar-panel maker and solar-project developer, will build the solar farm.

Apple said that the solar project is part of a company-wide plan to power its U.S. facilities with renewable energy. Generally, companies use a mix of direct power deliveries from solar, wind or other renewable-power facilities and by purchasing renewable-energy credits to “offset” conventional power use to meet such goals.

Apple didn’t disclose how much it is investing in the Nevada project. But the cost is likely to be similar to Apple’s other major data center in North Carolina, which cost about $1 billion.

Apple data center

“All of Apple’s data centers use 100% renewable energy, and we are on track to meet that goal in our new Reno data center using the latest in high-efficiency concentrating solar panels,” Apple said.

“When completed, the 137-acre solar array will generate approximately 43.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy, equivalent to taking 6,400 passenger vehicles off the road per year.”

Apple said the project will take about eight months to complete, and that the data center will employ about 35 people annually, increasing to 41 people by 2016.